Movies Filmed in Your Neighborhood
While Hollywood is often referred to as the capital for the American film industry, New York City has attracted filmmakers, actors and actresses since the earliest days of cinema. Having been represented hundreds of times on the big screen, New York captures a vast portion of our cultural imagination.
Get ready to reenact your favorite scenes in our bustling city!
We’ve compiled the most epic films that were shot in all 5 boroughs of New York City
Many of us may recall our first glance at the city that never sleeps on the big screen. When movies we enjoy are filmed in well-known destinations, visiting those locations call for additional excitement. While cities like Atlanta and Chicago have boosted their presence in the entertainment industry, New York will forever be a metropolis to film.
The best movies set in and around this city are among some of the most well-known films ever created.. Get ready to add these binge-worthy films to your list and reenact your favorite scenes in our bustling city! We’ve compiled the most epic films that were shot throughout the boroughs of New York City.
Night at the Museum
As the newly-hired museum watchman (Ben Stiller) realizes that the exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History are animated after dark by a magical Egyptian artifact, his basic security guard duties become much more complicated. Since the release of the movie, the Museum offers a Night at the Museum Tour that allows museum-goers to see the real exhibits behind the characters featured in the movie. If you’re interested in seeing the exhibits for yourself, all tours are free with admission.
The American Museum of Natural History is located on the Upper West Side at Central Park West and W 79th Street, open daily from 10am - 5:45pm.
(‘02, ‘04, ‘07, ‘12, ‘14, ‘18, ‘19)
Our neighborhood Spider-Man brought his powers overseas in Far From Home, a change in scenery for one of New York’s favorite heroes. Midtown Manhattan is full of locations used in the Spider-Man film collection, as the plethora of skyscrapers and famous buildings have provided the ultimate setting for action scenes. Times Square, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building are just a few locations featured in the Spider-Man films. For the complete list of places featured in the movies, click here!
He Got Game
Atlanta-born actor and director Spike Lee moved to Brooklyn as a 4-year-old, and in the years since, the borough and the City itself have become essential to his success as a filmmaker. The protagonist of Do the Right Thing, Mookie, lives in Bed-Stuy and works at Sal’s Pizza. The film is aimed to portray life in Brooklyn.
Teenagers blasting boomboxes, chance run-ins on the street corner and old-timers hanging out the window of their apartments all contribute to the classic backdrop of this Spike Lee Joint. Lee also managed to shoot the entire film on one block of Stuyvesant Avenue between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.
An inner-city kid from the Bronx, Jamal Wallace (played by Rob Brown) is an exceptional basketball player and a fantastic writer. When recruited to play basketball at a prestigious New York prep school, Wallace pursues his dreams as a writer as well as he is mentored and inspired by Pulitzer-prize winning author William Forrester (Sean Connery). In the film, Forrester’s apartment is located in the South Bronx. Other notable locations seen in the film include the Red Rose Diner (now closed) in Harlem, as well as Regis High School in Manhattan, which was transformed in the film to portray Mailor-Callow School.
Coming To America
If you’re the son of a king, what better place to find your queen than Queens itself? In 1988, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) traveled to New York to find love. Interestingly enough, Akeem’s apartment, as well as the famous barbershop scenes were set in Queens but filmed in Brooklyn.
The sequel, releasing in 2020, will include original cast members Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones in addition to Murphy.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Staten Island Zoo is located in West New Brighton. The 8-acre property was used to film Mr. Popper’s Penguins in 2011, starring Jim Carrey. The original Staten Island Zoo sign was not used, instead for the film they labeled it the “New York Zoo.”
Have a recommendation for what New York-based movie we should screen for our upcoming movie-night Stoop community event?
The Wolf of Wall Street
The film takes viewers through the rise and fall of former stockbroker, now a motivational speaker, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). Many iconic scenes in the movie were shot in Manhattan. The popular brunch scene with Matthew McConaughey took place at the Top of the Sixes Restaurant on 5th Avenue and 52nd Street.
If the proposal scene between DiCaprio and Margot Robbie is your favorite, then a visit to it’s film location at the Pool Room of the old Four Seasons restaurants should be on your list! It is conveniently located on East 52nd Street between Madison and Park Avenue.
Do the Right Thing
He Got Game features Jake, an incarcerated father (Denzel Washington) to Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen). The plot thickens as Jake returns home to Coney Island to persuade Jesus to play for the Governor’s College in exchange for a shorter prison sentence. Many scenes from the film were shot in Coney Island, as well as Abraham Lincoln High School located on Ocean Parkway. Through his films, Spike Lee doesn’t shy away from shining light on his roots.
Goodfellas was shot entirely in Queens and New Jersey, although the plot takes place in additional locations. The ‘Brooklyn’ home of young Henry (Christopher Serrone), is actually in Astoria. Additionally, you can enjoy a burger in the classic pink and chrome interior of the Jackson Hole Diner, also known as the ‘Airline’ Diner in the film on Astoria Boulevard. Other notable locations from the film include Salerno’s Restaurant, and Clinton Diner, which became Goodfellas Diner after filming on the site.
School of Rock
Jack Black manages to forge a class of aspirational prep school kids into a rock band in this classic movie. The site of the climactic ‘Battle of the bands,’ was staged at the St George Theatre in Staten Island. Open since 1929, the 2,800 seat venue is among the most magnificent theatres in New York. The theatre was restored and reopened in 2004, making it hard for movie fans to even recognize the theatre from the film.
Be Leonardo Dicaprio in your own right and depict scenes just like Spike Lee